US Department of State Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
411 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Phenomenal, exhausting, worth it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Extremely challenging, sense of purpose, decent compensation, opportunities for international travel/living. Outstanding, high-achieving colleagues who work as a team. Almost every manager I ever had was great and cared not just about policy, but about the people they managed. If you show you're competent, you'll get more responsibility.

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance, culture of CYA, bureaucratic wrangling can be frustrating, zero consequences for poor management (since most managers move on within 2 years, higher-ups are content to pass the buck and let poor managers slide), some favoritism, conflict among Foreign Service Officers - Civil Servants - and Political Appointees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay close attention to middle management and emphasize accountability. Hold all employees accountable instead of counting down the days until they leave. Pay attention to retention rates and morale in particular offices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Foreign Service Officer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fascinating work, smart and dedicated colleagues, see the world, do work that matters, serve the American people

    Cons

    Big bureaucracy with its share of dead wood that puts a premium on policy over people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rethink the hiring and retention process; a system that is almost 50 years old is not competitive and won't get or retain the best people

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Good for Idealists

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Department of State

    Pros

    Worldwide reach and sense of purpose

    Cons

    Bureaucratic; people who have stayed too long are challenging to work with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Large bureaucracy with lack of communication between different sectors.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    Extremely prestigious and doing great work around the world. Offers lots of flexibility

    Cons

    Building is in no man's land -

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate with your staff. Share what goes on in the many many meetings that you attend.

  6. 4 people found this helpful

    A safe have for foreign policy wonks....

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    If you love international affairs, and you love writing, you will love State. Top notch talent and unparalleled opportunities to contribute to policy making.

    Cons

    Human resources processes can be daunting and State can be quite formal for newbies, but you can acclimate quickly to the culture by being observant and asking a ton of questions.

  7. Hit or Miss Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    Exciting work, reasonable hours, great foreign policy exposure.

    Cons

    Most interns are unpaid.
    The major con is that while interns know their bureau/department placement before accepting the position, they often don't know which specific office they will be placed in. Especially in some of the larger bureaus, this can be extremely frustrating, as internship experiences vary widely even within bureaus depending on which specific office the intern is assigned to.

    Recommends
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Slow moving but easy going.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security Specialist
    Current Employee - Security Specialist

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    It's definitely a government job. Decent compensation package.

    Cons

    Not a good place for a go getter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your FS people out of Washington.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful

    Amazing opportunity, but the bureaucracy is stiff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Foreign Affairs Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The State Department is the only place I've ever worked that regularly sent me to foreign countries to represent the United States. I felt like I was on the "No Apparent Athletic Talent" Olympic Team. Honestly, it is hard to describe the thrill of landing in Beijing or Abu Dhabi or Yerevan, knowing that I had a job to do on behalf of the U.S. If you are driven by that spirit of public service, you will love the State Department.

    Cons

    The office culture was straight out of office space. Lots of paperwork. Lots of bureaucracy. About a fifth of people seemed to have no real purpose except to process paper (which, frequently, they generated for themselves) and block the rest of the Department from operating more quickly. Careerists and sharp elbows are omnipresent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More 360 reviews and more promotion opportunities (even small ones) would boost morale

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Awesome place to work at

    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Made lifelong friends and great support network. Extremely friendly and encouraging folks here.

    Cons

    No pay since I was an unpaid intern.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay interns.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Great place to intern.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at US Department of State

    Pros

    I was treated as a part of the team and got a lot of responsibility early on.
    Minimal administrative work compared to other internships.

    Cons

    Unpaid.
    Won't lead to a job even if they like you due to federal hiring processes.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

US Department of State Photos

Work at US Department of State? Share Your Experiences

US Department of State

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.